Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

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webb-nickj
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Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:28 pm

Hi guys,

So, I'm just waiting for a new roof rack from Ford, which looks like It's based on the Thule Wing Bars. My existing Thule square bars (or the fitting kit at least) is only rated for 40kg including the weight of the bars themselves and my two Pyranha Fusions weigh about 40kg.

Since the new bars will be aluminium I'm going to have to replace the uprights I use at the moment, so I'm wondering whether to but Thule uprights or switch to J-bars.

Anyone got any opinions on which is the best way to carry two kayaks? I find using uprights I can't get the boats secure enough without deflecting the side of the kayak - I wondered if J bars are any better for this?

And if I'm buying J bars, what's best to go for. There's a big price difference between Thule and Lomo. Is it justified?

Thanks for any advice.

charleston14
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by charleston14 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:09 pm

I’ve got Lomo j bars and they do the job fine for my sea kayak. The key is to sit the kayak in The j cradles but have the straps around the roof bars and kayak but not with tension on the j bars bars themselves. this keeps the kayak very secure. Especially so, with a bow and stern line to the cars tow points. I’d say the Lomo bars are ok but best suited to not being on the roof all year round as the bolts will rust up.
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by charleston14 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:12 pm

Ps the j bars don’t deform my kayaks hull and you can add extra foam for a custom fit. Using good old pipe foam and gaffer tape
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Mike A
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Mike A » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:50 pm

If kayaks are deforming, could I ask how tight you are putting the strap? You might be overdoing it a bit.

Chris Bolton
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:03 pm

I've been putting kayaks against uprights for 35 years and it's not done any of them any harm. J-bars mean lifting the boat an extra 10-15cm, and take up more space on the rack (although if you're limited to two because of weight, that doesn't matter). However, I'm not impressed with the Thule uprights (the kind that fold down) - they don't seem well made and the wingnuts get in the way of the boats. A friend has Eckla uprights with Aerobar adaptors, which look good.

webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:32 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Interesting to get some user experience with the Lomo J bars - thanks.

Mike, you might be right about too much tension in the straps but I seem to have a hard time stopping the one boat from still wiggling if you give it a shake from one end.

How would you describe the right amount of tension for tying down a plastic canoe?

Thanks,

Nick

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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:52 pm

How would you describe the right amount of tension for tying down a plastic canoe
I use straps with ordinary metal cam-lock buckles, and pull them as tight as I can. If you use ratchet buckles, I think you can over-tighten. I also don't use any foam paddling; that's what allows boats to move. If you stop them moving you don't get any wear.

However, tying boats to roof racks is a topic on which there are almost as many different opinions as there are paddlers.

webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:14 pm

Thanks Chris.

I also use standard camlocks, but do have pads on the bars.

Nick

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Chalky723
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:12 am

if it's only 2 kayaks I don't use uprights, just lay them side to side & tie each down individually.

If it's 4 I'll use the uprights & tie them down in pairs either side of the bars...

D
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webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:12 pm

Unfortunately the two fusions won't fit side by side on the roof of a Fiesta.

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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:47 pm

Get wider roof bars? Mine were 140cm on my metro - didn't look pretty, but could still get 4 boats on!!

D
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Alec » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:01 am

Fusions are no wider than lots of other kayaks. It doesn't matter if they overhang the bars slightly as long as they're tied down properly.

webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:35 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone.

The new Ford roof bars have arrived now. Pretty sure they're Thule Wingbars, but the feet look far sturdier than the standard Thule kit for the Fiesta, which would explain the difference in load limit for these bars.

But they are pretty short for being an exact fit, so I will put a set of uprights on I think.

So any advice on who makes a good upright compatible with an aerobar T-track? I've been looking at Yakima and Eckla. The matching Thule bars seem a bit inefficient on space with the loop.

MaverickvRS
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by MaverickvRS » Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:02 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:47 pm
Get wider roof bars? Mine were 140cm on my metro - didn't look pretty, but could still get 4 boats on!!

D
We have a Fiesta in the house and unfortunately the Ford original bars are pretty much the only option (you have to change the roof gutters etc which you have to have a lot of confidence!!!)

That's on the mk7 anyway. The bars are quite narrow but it's a compromise that we make.

My Skoda on the other hand uses the Thule system which you can fit anything with a bit of confidence and an angle grinder...

webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:18 pm

The Ford bars on the new model Fiesta don't need any mods to the guttering I'm glad to say.

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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chalky723 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:08 pm

MaverickvRS wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:02 pm
We have a Fiesta in the house and unfortunately the Ford original bars are pretty much the only option (you have to change the roof gutters etc which you have to have a lot of confidence!!!)
You can put wider bars on top of the ford ones though - a couple of "U" brackets (or similar) & all is good......

D
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:36 pm

I thought Thule racks were available to fit all models of car with a metal roof (so excluding soft tops and glass roofs like the Smart). If you can fit Thule feet you can use their Probars to make up any width up to 2m.

webb-nickj
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by webb-nickj » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:46 pm

Yep Thule roof bars are available for the Fiesta but the fitting kit for the Mk7 and the new Mk8 give a weight limit of 40kg including the weight of both bars. Not enough for two Fusions.

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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by Chalky723 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:45 pm

webb-nickj wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:46 pm
Yep Thule roof bars are available for the Fiesta but the fitting kit for the Mk7 and the new Mk8 give a weight limit of 40kg including the weight of both bars. Not enough for two Fusions.
Yeah, I'd personally risk it - I don't actually know what the weight limit is for mine, but it's probably less than the 4 kayaks I've had on there.

D
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MaverickvRS
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Re: Advice on putting kayaks on a roof rack

Post by MaverickvRS » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:04 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:45 pm
webb-nickj wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:46 pm
Yep Thule roof bars are available for the Fiesta but the fitting kit for the Mk7 and the new Mk8 give a weight limit of 40kg including the weight of both bars. Not enough for two Fusions.
Yeah, I'd personally risk it - I don't actually know what the weight limit is for mine, but it's probably less than the 4 kayaks I've had on there.

D
The problem with the 3 doors at least is the "short roof adapter" meaning the rear bar is essentially supported under gravity, not wind lift. we fitted the Ford bars, which are narrower but comparable price. They are rated to 75kg.

EDIT - link: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Ford ... 3641.l6368

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